May 21, 2022

The 13 Ivy Plus Libraries (IPL) Release RFP For a BorrowDirect Shared Index; Open-Source Solutions Will Be Given Priority

From Penn Library News:

2018-10-26_20-55-29The Ivy Plus Libraries (IPL) – which includes Brown University Libraries, Columbia University Libraries, Cornell University Libraries, Dartmouth College Libraries, Duke University Libraries, Harvard University Libraries, Johns Hopkins University Libraries, Massachusetts Institution of Technology (MIT) Libraries, Princeton University Libraries, Stanford University Libraries, University of Chicago Library, University of Pennsylvania Libraries, and Yale University Libraries – collectively hold more than 90 million titles. Through our signature service – BorrowDirect – we share more than 270,000 items per year in a highly automated and load balanced resource sharing system.


Penn Libraries, acting on behalf of the 13 partner libraries, seeks responses to the RFP by November 15, 2018.

Please note that preference will be given to responders offering an open-source solution.

From the Request For Proposal:

The purpose of the BorrowDirect Shared Index project is to replace the Discovery portion of the BorrowDirect system with a Shared Index. The Ivy Plus Partnership is seeking proposals for the development and design of the Shared Index into production and for its ongoing support.

The selected Vendor shall work collaboratively with Ivy Plus staff and representatives to implement the new BorrowDirect Shared Index and related services (BDSI). The anticipated multi-phase project will include deployment and configuration, an operational pilot test, integration with external systems, and a production launch.

Anticipated outcomes of the project include:

  • Improved Discovery services across the 90 million + returnable titles in the Ivy Plus collections, including complete and up-to-date information regarding Ivy Plus holdings.
  • Ability to search ALL Ivy Plus holdings from local Discovery systems operated by member institutions. Essentially, this will allow patrons at member institutions to search across the Ivy Plus collections from a familiar, locally branded search application.
  • Given the rapidly changing resource sharing platform environment, must provide ability to integrate with existing BorrowDirect Fulfilment infrastructure at launch, as well as the ability to integrate with alternate systems in the future, if needed. This should include use of standard, openly-available resource sharing protocols such as NCIP z39.83, z39.50, ISO 10160:2015.
  • Continuous support for and integration with existing resource sharing applications, including Relais D2D and OCLC ILLiad, that may use proprietary standards for integration.
  • For development in a later phase, lay the foundation for growing the Shared Index beyond returnable physical items described in MARC 21 format. Examples include resources described in non-MARC formats and other types of materials such as electronic resources and special collections materials.

Direct to Full Text RFP
23 pages; PDF.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.